As the government’s latest economic policy is prepared, several experts have described the main challenge facing the agricultural sector as the Kingdom’s export of unprocessed raw materials, which currently make up 75 per cent of the exported produce.
The private sector has urged the government to provide more tax relief in the sector, to provide incentives for more investment.
Speaking at last week’s “Sectoral Policy Dialogue” forum – jointly hosted by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) – finance ministry secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said he accepted that the figure of 75 per cent is too high.
He explained that the government’s agriculture policy, which he helped prepare, was designed to support the sector, but needed revision.
“We need to hold more discussion with all relevant stakeholders, especially policy implementers and the private sector. I was involved in preparing the current policy. It aims to help, but it is not enough,” he said.
Due to the far-reaching impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially to the service industry – which is a major income source – Visoth said tax policy has changed a lot in the last few years.
He said agriculture accounted for 23 per cent of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP), with milled rice alone contributing seven per cent.
Visoth praised new agriculture minister Dith Tina, who he said is striving to improve the profitability of the industry.
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Author: Rann Reuy
Source: The Phnom Penh Post
Publication: 20 March 2023